Kids These Days

From Chabon’s recent compilation of essays on manhood.

Kids write their own manuals in a new language made up of the things we give them and the things that derive from the peculiar wiring of their heads. …When he was still a toddler, Abraham liked to put a glow-in-the-dark bedsheet-style Lego ghost costume over a Green Goblin minifig and seat him on a Sioux horse, armed with a light saber, then make the Goblin do battle with Darth Vader, mounted on a black horse, armed with a bow and arrow. That is the aesthetic at work in the Legosphere now–not the modernist purity of the early years or the totalizing vision behind the dark empire of modern corporate marketing but the aesthetic of the Lego drawer, of the mash-up, the pastiche that destroys its sources at the same time that it makes use of and reinvents them.

That is the brilliance of the system, and something i feel we really miss out on as adults – seeing what can be made when we actively set aside the instruction manuals, an act we are not prone to, due to the inherent risk (money wasted, a drive back to IKEA, electrocution, possible firing).